Wiki ⟡ Jadasea ⟡ Papo2oo4 ⟡ Subjxct 5

Galeria Zé dos Bois

Wiki ©Jacob Consenstein


Being born, growing up and flourishing in New York isn’t for everyone, but it is for many nonetheless – and some will be luckier than others on that journey. The son of a Puerto Rican father and Irish mother, Wiki is one of the lucky ones who got the chance to experience first-hand a city that has been immortalised in so many ways and forms in so many different media, from cinema to music – in the latter, he gives his own informed view of events. And he is as New Yorker as it is humanly possible to be; realising this is halfway to understanding him and his verses. New York plays a really important role in everything he did and does, from being the basis for the formation of RATKING – a group that was inspired by both Suicide and Wu-Tang Clan and which gave him the initial and decisive impulse for his career at a stage when he was still discovering what it was to be an adult – to the title of his debut solo album, No Mountains in Manhattan (2017), a phrase he heard in Mean Streets (1973), a Martin Scorsese film that uses that multifaceted backdrop that is NYC.

Wiki’s ability to be the narrator of these streets (which suffer a violent clash between those entering with no real sense of community and the usual locals being pushed out) took on more defined forms on Half God (2021), an album made in collaboration with Navy Blue, the beatmaker on duty in this endeavour that added another layer to his solid discography. Maturing after making a decade practising the art of rhyming and the imminent arrival at the age of 30 (next October he’ll celebrate that round birthday) have given him the foundations to make a track like “The Business” – it’s listening carefully to the bars and realising that there’s something very universal in what he’s rhyming about gentrification. And sometimes you really do need to experience situations with a different maturity (and sobriety) to be able to report them properly. When he now grabs a microphone, the rapper with the now emblematic gap in his teeth does so with increasing honesty and directness (in the good New York way, let’s call it that).

Be it over beats by Sporting Life, Madlib, Kaytranada, Slauson Malone, The Alchemist, DJ Shadow, Subjxct 5 and NAH, spitting alongside MCs like Ghostface Killah, Earl Sweatshirt, Skepta (yes, there’s even an official version of “That’s Not Me” with Patrick Morales), Denzel Curry, MIKE, Your Old Droog or collaborating with musicians as diverse as King Krule, Duendita, Obongjayar, Emma-Jean Thackray and Richard Russell, the only stylistic limit for Wiki seems to be his enlightened good taste – this is the only way we can have projects like the experimental Telephonebooth, the mature Half God, the fun and uncompromising Cold Cuts and the EP “for culture” One More in a space of two years. A catalogue that already deserves (and commands) a lot of respect. Alexandre Ribeiro


Jadasea is a crucial fixture in the local hip hop scene of South London – where he was born and raised. He first gained attention as a member of Sub Luna City, alongside his bandmates King Krule, Jesse James Solomon, Rago Foot, and Black Mack. Jadasea is an important bridge between London and New York City through his collaborations with rappers such as Wiki and MIKE (both of whom he has toured with). He has released a collaborative project with MIKE titled Old Earth, and more recently released The Corner: Vol. 1, a collaborative project with NYC producer Laron.

Through a steady stream of solo releases, such as half-life (entirely produced by King Krule), LOOKALIVE!, and time will tell, Jadasea has carved a unique sonic lane for himself. He has an impeccable ear for a kind of murky production that melds seamlessly with his ultra laid back cadence, making it so the beat and vocals on his tracks weave in and out of each other.

Papo2oo4 ⟡ Subjxct 5

Elizabeth, New Jersey’s Papo2oo4 has the kind of grizzled, cold-to-the-ear voice that you’d expect to hear on a mixtape you copped on Canal Street. On the mic, he’s stern and unflinching, but there’s a jigginess to his cadences and flows that keep him from sounding lethargic. With Subjxct 5’s (also from Elizabeth) nostalgic yet future-looking production backing it, Pap on P.E.D’s, Papo’s newest tape, feels like a training montage complete with rumbling trains and frigid temperatures.

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